One of the biggest growth hacks small business owners can tap into is SEO. By increasing your business’ SEO you can gain more traffic to your website and generate more qualified leads.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for search engine optimization. For instance, one of the most common search engines is Google. When you optimize for a search engine, you adhere to a process the search engine goes through to display search results. As you increase your business’ SEO, your visibility increases.
The first step to creating a business with strong SEO is to understand how search engines work. Search engines use electronic devices commonly referred to as “bots”. These bots scan the internet in search of the most relevant content to display to search engine users.
Each search engine has an algorithm that ranks a multiple of factors. These factors determine how much visibility your site and business deserve. This in turn influences the amount of traffic and leads you get. 75% of users never scroll past the first page.
As a small business owner knowing where to begin with SEO can be difficult. There is a lot of content and information out there. As such, we want to help you understand the basics of SEO and present an easy checklist to follow to optimize your website for SEO.
1. Create a Google Compliant Website
First, understand that Google looks for pages with high-quality and relevant information about a searcher’s query. Using bots, search engines “crawl” or read through your website’s content to determine relevance. Google then evaluates the content based on the keywords it contains. Quality is determined through several of the factors we discuss below. Whoever builds your website will be aware of how to make it Google compliant.
2. Optimize for mobile
More than 50% of users view searches through mobile devices. As such you want a website optimized for mobile. Having a clean and pretty website that is easy to navigate is great, but if it is not adapted for mobile you will miss out on a significant amount of traffic. Most website builders will do this for you. However, you can check this by using Google’s mobile testing tool to see whether your web page is mobile-friendly.
3. Set up and optimize Google My Business page
Google My Business is a free tool that allows companies to manage their online presence on Google. This tool informs your customers where you are, how to contact you and other relevant information.
For instance, this is Peak’s Google My Business page:
Why is a Google My Business page so important?
It is no secret that Google dominates the search engine market. If you wish to attract the best leads, you want people to discover accurate information about your business.
The first step to setting up your Google my Business page is to provide as much information as possible to meet your target customer needs. Core pieces of information include company name, address, phone number, website, and description. A helpful description will help customers understand your story, mission, and history.
The next step is gathering reviews. About 90% of individuals read reviews before making a purchase. Reviews are social proof for future customers. The more positive reviews you have the better leads you will get and the higher you will rank in search engine results. It is easy to copy a link to leave a review and send it to previous customers. After they leave a review, be sure to respond. This can create goodwill and a sense of trust for future customers.
Lastly, to visually attract customers, add quality photos of your product, service, or office.
4. Determine winnable keywords
This means identifying the terms people are searching for about your business. These are known as “keywords” you want your website to rank for in search engines. It may be helpful to look at what keywords your competitors are currently ranking for. Then pick the keywords you want to rank for and create targeted content. The more specific keywords are, the easier it is to rank for them. Most search queries contain three to four words or more.
For instance, Peak Business Valuation‘s current keywords we seek to rank for include business appraiser Utah and business valuation Utah. Narrowing down to a specific area is more easily winnable than say business valuation in general.
5. Create relevant and keyword-rich original content
Content creation is one of the most important and effective SEO tactics. High-quality content attracts people to your business. Content should be relevant to what individuals are searching for. It should seek to answer people’s questions.
When creating content, think carefully about your customer’s needs. What do they want to know about your product or service? Your content can then educate users about your product and how your business can help solve their problem. It can also help search engines better understand what your business is about and your level of expertise.
Seek to answer not only the what, but the why and how. Be sure to cross-reference your sources to ensure you provide up-to-date and accurate information. If viewers find your content helpful, they will be more likely to share it on their social media pages.
Most importantly, naturally weave your keywords into your content. Search engines scan for these keywords so adding them in relevant places will help increase your SEO.
Search engines also like content that is more in-depth. While word count is not necessarily a major ranking factor, it is recommended to write content with more than 1,000 words.
Keep in mind content is more than just words. Think about how to use images, videos, and other media to engage your visitors.
The biggest thing with content is to be consistent. Search engines want to know you are consistently providing relevant and useful information. Quality content is the difference between great and poor visibility.
6. Generate high-quality internal and external links
The last aspect to focus on is generating high-quality links. Links play an important role in creating brand awareness and boosting your site’s authority. Both internal links and backlinks are helpful.
Internal Links: Once you have built a decent amount of content, you can link blogs to other relevant content on your website and vice versa. This helps make the customer experience smooth. It also encourages visitors to take more actions and explore more pages.
Backlinks: Ask customers, partners, and others to link to your site. When backlinks come from trustworthy sites, your site increases in authority. The greater authority you have, the more likely the search engines will display your website.
Checklist for Boosting SEO
Search engine optimization has a powerful impact on growing your business and driving more traffic to your website. By focusing on the above aspects you will see an increase in customers and ultimately an increase in value.
Peak Business Valuation, a business appraiser in Utah, is here to help small business owners grow their company. A business valuation can help you understand the value of your business today and opportunities for growth. We are always happy to answer any questions you have. Please reach out via email or schedule your free consultation below!
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